Plea for action over vehicles blocking Broadstairs road ‘putting properties and lives’ at potential risk

Residents fear emergency vehicles will not be able to access the road when it is used for parking by beach-goers in the hot weather

A retired building industry worker from Broadstairs says lives could be put at risk due to the number of vehicles blocking roads close to Botany Bay.

Rob Knight lives in Foreness Close -a small road that looks out on to Botany Bay. He says the massive volume of traffic coming to the isle as people want to use the beaches during hot weather means vehicles are parked in the close, on grass verges and blocking the way should fire or ambulance crews need to get to a property.

Last weekend Rob was cooking a pan of fat on overheated and caught alight. He wet a towel to extinguish it but the fire had already spread to the cooker hood and he had to put it out with a kitchen extinguisher.

But, he says, had he not been able to control the situation, properties could have been damaged and even lives lost because fire engines would not have been able to get past the parked vehicles to get to his house.

He said: “My quick action alleviated any escalation. If the brigade had been called they would not even have made it into the close. I was lucky and so were my neighbours as by the time any clearance could have been made for fire engines the whole block would have been alight.

“Action needs to be taken to put parking restrictions in place or before long loss of property or life will occur.

“The problem is the close is being used more and more by tourists, it used to be a hidden gem. The infrastructure all round Botany is unable to accommodate the massive volume of traffic wanting to access the Bay.

“The west side is served in the main by Botany Road with additional traffic joining from the Palm Bay side. All this traffic is concentrated into a tiny car park that holds about 15 cars so consequently all the adjoining roads are almost totally blocked with traffic parking both sides of the road and on the grass verges.

“The issue with Foreness Close is that there are no yellow lines so the whole of the path leading into the close is blocked with cars on the pavement.

“Anyone walking down the close has to go in the road, so there is no access for anyone with a pram or wheelchair.

“Even if a fire engine did make it down Botany Bay there would be no access through the emergency barrier in the car park as once this is full of cars the barrier is inaccessible.”

Rob has contacted both Thanet council and Kent Fire and Rescue Service. The council says civil enforcement officers are aware and will continue to take action in this area. However, they are only able to take action against vehicles parked on restricted lines or enforceable bays. If a vehicle is causing an obstruction it becomes a police matter.

Thanet fire crews will liaise with the Multi-Agency Task Force to see if they can offer any solutions to the problem.

Mark Rist, KFRS Assistant Director for Response, said: “We would encourage people to always park considerately and to ensure there is plenty of space for an emergency vehicle to pass.

“Blocked roads can delay our crews when responding to an emergency, as they have to knock on doors and get the vehicles moved. Such obstructions can also force us to change our tactics, possibly requiring us to lay out longer hoses.”

A request for yellow lines in Foreness Close has been made.


  1. It needs clear message boards to tell drivers to KEEP AREA CLEAR FOR EMERGENCY VEHICLES ONLY.
    However be warned if the visitors are driven away by endless parking restrictions and lack of facilities then don’t be surprised if our council tax increases by 4/5% each year. Those who choose to live within walking distance of the beach must not be surprised if others want to visit the beach as well. In the present economic situation there is a real possibility that most families will be having stay in UK holidays. Therefore it’s highly likely a lot more visitors will come to this area. Thanet councils businesses and residents should be prepared for this to generate income.

    • Wrong again our Ann, there are no businesses currently able to trade, do you not get economics, you must have a product to sell if you want people to buy. Even after lockdown, there is absolutely nowhere for these families to spend their money at Botany Bay, there never has been. So, for the sake of all those who clearly don’t live in the area, stop suggesting there will be an economic impact if we deter the vast numbers from this area. This has only been an attraction since our brain dead tourism dept at TDC promoted Botany Bay after the 2012 Olympics since when we’ve been overwhelmed by the number of day trippers who bring not a penny with them to boost the local economy. Hope this finally gets through, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Well said “Seen it all before”…. However the day trippers DO bring something to the area….loads of carrier bags of food cans & bottles of drink etc which they then kindly leave behind !

  2. Man who can’t cook complains that others want to visit the beach that he chose to live next to.

    The only sympathy I have is with that pathetic car park at the bottom of the road. Either tarmac it and line it properly or make it disabled and emergency vehicles only.

    • And he sends his picture to the website!
      Headline ,Fat man parks his own vehicle and complains about parking by other fat people and sends a not very interesting .story to a .

  3. Oh come on…..
    Botany Bay is a beautiful place to be….but spoilt by people flocking to the beach once the sUnited appears….parking is a nightmare and people don’t seem to care about heavy fines….as for the local people my heart goes out to them …..and God forbid emergency services are needed …no chance of getting to you on a brilliant hot day ….

    • Thanks for that Ramsgatonian. We’re fed up with being accused of being anti tourists, when we’re bring overwhelmed by the vast numbers visiting bringing nothing but chaos and their rubbish and worse, not to mention the lack of parking leading to gridlock. The KFRS were asked to assess the potential problem with access last year…. we’ve heard nothing. It must be addressed soon.

  4. Seen it all before…..I can honestly say that is a total nightmare…..we have stayed at Botany a few times and parking during the hot weather has been impossible….TDC please please sort out the car park so that the people of Botany can park without stress

  5. My elderly parents live in Botany road it’s an absolute nightmare getting in and out of the road when I visit cars are parked everywhere on the grass verges blocking residents driveways, there needs to be yellow lines at least one side of the road allowing any emergency vehicles down because at the moment no large vehicles can get up or down when people visit the beach, I’m sure extended parking could be built at the beach end of the road, residents pay a lot of money for bungalows and houses in that part of Palm Bay and mostly are elderly and it causes a lot of stress for the residents.

    • And what difference will that make! People coming in from outside Thanet will not use public transport of any description to access beaches. Perhaps a large park and ride on out skirts might help but I doubt it.

      • I have friends and relations who don’t live in Thanet who come here by public transport. I don’t suppose I’m the only one.So the assertion by “Fed up B” is not exactly true. Less use of the private car, improved walking and cycling routes, more and cheaper public transport, and a greater willingness by any current government to break this country’s entrenched belief that people who don’t use cars are not as important as those who do. All these things would contribute to a more egalitarian and healthier society.

  6. I love to swim at a number of the local beaches but parking is always an issue, why can TDC not utilise an area of the grass verge on the cliff tops as they do at joss bay, this could be a seasonal service, will not discourage tourist and also provide a lucrative revenue stream.

  7. I don’t understand the parking situation in Thanet at all? There are paid car parks in the towns where hardly anybody visits, and the whole of the Thanet cliff top is free to park. When travelling around the UK you’d be hard pressed to find any other coastal area where you can park for nothing. The Winterstoke area of Ramsgate has had campers parked along there for months. As people will be visiting our coast more this year, wouldn’t it be useful to put parking machines all along the cliffs (with reasonable prices) and make some revenue that could be used for the benefit to the area?

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